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Pandemic pushing more people to move south, buy homes in SWFL

Gaby Novak is looking to make a move.

“When I walked in here, it’s just the ambience of this house. I was like okay, this is it,” she said.

But she needs to hurry because houses for sale in Southwest Florida are going fast.

“Florida is the number one relocation state in the United States,” says Tanny Medina, who sells homes for a living.

She’s busy, she says, for two reasons: One, as usual, people want to move here, especially from New York; and two, COVID-19. Novak fits both profiles.

“Coronavirus was an eye-opener. You really don’t realize how close to people you are. You get out of your building and it’s impossible to avoid people,” Novak said. “When we went to the store we had to be in a three-block line in order to get groceries.”

Because of the virus, mortgage interest rates are at new record lows, so renters are buying and current homeowners are upgrading, because many of them are working at home and need the space.

In July, home sales soared 25% compared to June.

With people like Novak on the hunt for a new home, Southwest Florida is now a seller’s market.

“For every house on the market there are three to four buyers,” Medina said.

That means there may not be enough homes to meet the demand.

As for Novak, she predicts even more people from New York will make the move.

“You realize how many people live in your neighborhood and you’re like, okay this is chaos,” she said.

But will there be enough homes for them to buy?

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
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